Dodgers P Garland, C Barajas at odds
CHICAGO -- Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Jon Garland and catcher Rod Barajas revealed in separate interviews following Saturday's 9-2 loss to the Chicago White Sox, a game in which Garland was tagged for seven runs in 3 2/3 innings, that they weren't really in sync and had trouble agreeing on pitch selection.
"I think I never really got into a solid game plan,'' Garland said. "Rod and I were never on the same page. I became a two-pitch pitcher.''
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Garland was referring to his fastball and slider, but in response to that comment, Barajas said he frequently called for the curveball or cutter and was shaken off by Garland.
"We threw some curveballs in there,'' Barajas said. "I think we mixed in some other pitches. When he shook me off, it was often shaking back to the fastball or slider. It definitely wasn't like he was trying to shake to the other two pitches. Obviously, if he didn't want to be a two-pitch pitcher, why did he shake to the fastball and slider? Those were basically what we used.''
Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt said he was unaware of any in-game issues between Garland and Barajas until after manager Don Mattingly came to get Garland in the midst of a six-run fourth inning for the White Sox.
"They didn't talk to me about it until afterward,'' Honeycutt said. "By then, it was kind of already done.''
Both Garland and Barajas are respected veterans with more than a decade of big league service time. Barajas said after the game that he had never had any similar issues with Garland while catching him in any previous game this season, nor for that matter with any other pitcher on the Dodgers staff.
Garland gave up only one run through the first three innings, then was hit hard to start the fourth, the first six batters reaching base on five hits and a hit-by-pitch. He was yanked after walking Adam Dunn, the ninth batter in the inning, to load the bases.
"That doesn't happen very often,'' Barajas said of the issue. "I'm just calling the game I normally do, and I guess he had different pitches that he wanted to throw that were different from the ones I was calling. It was definitely not our smoothest game.''
Garland pitched for the White Sox from 2000 to 2007. Dodgers radio broadcaster Rick Monday mentioned on the air shortly after Garland left the game that White Sox broadcaster Ed Farmer came into the visiting radio booth during the break following the fourth inning and asked why Garland wasn't throwing his curveball.
Barajas acknowledged that the issue between him and Garland probably played a role in the outcome for Garland.
"As a pitcher, you want to be able to get on the mound, see that sign and throw that pitch,'' Barajas said. "We weren't able to do that today.''
Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.